Similar to Ottumwa's opening drive, East's offense struck quickly in the third quarter. On the third play of the Scarlets' drive, Alcala kept it himself and galloped 32 yards for a touchdown. East elected to go for it and Alcala once again kept it, and, after evading a tackler, found the end zone to make it 14-7 Scarlets with 9:06 left in the third quarter.
At that point, East harnessed the games momentum to its advantage. But, later in the third quarter quarter, one play would shift the pendulum back in Ottumwa's favor.
On the aforementioned play, Scarlet Y'vez Quinn fumbled a punt and an alert Greig Duo recovered it on East's 49-yard line. Ottumwa coach Zach Pfantz decided he was going to have Cox run up the middle and see if the Scarlets could stop them. It turned out they couldn't; at least not enough to prevent Cox from wracking up first downs. Yet, it was Isaiah Hutchinson who was able to convert on a fourth and inches situation deep in Scarlet territory to start the fourth quarter. Later in the drive, Shane Frazier hooked up with Titus Weller for first down on East's 4-yard line. Moments later, Frazie faked handoff to Cox and took it around the left side before cutting back inside for a touchdown that cut the Bulldogs' lead to 14-13 with 11:10 left in the fourth quarter. Ottumwa decided to go for it and this time it was Cox who rushed it in for the score, giving the Bulldogs a 15-14 lead.
Ottumwa's defense made a huge stop on fourth and inches with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter, the Bulldogs went on another prolonged drive that ate up both yardage and time. Facing a fourth-and-nine situation with less than a minute left in the game, it looked like Frazier handed it off to Cox. The Scarlet defense swarmed Cox, not knowing that Frazier still had the ball. By the time the Scarlet's figured out they had been hoodwinked, Frazier had already scurried down the left sideline for a touchdown. Vonderhaar kicked the extra point to make it 22-14.
Ottumwa (2-1) takes on Indianola at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Schafer Stadium.
To follow Andy Heintz's Twitter feed, go to @heintz23